As we get closer to the end of another challenging year, I’ve been reflecting on Christmases past and the deep need we have as humans to be together - to see, hear, and hold each other, and to celebrate important rituals like Christmas.
During my 25 years of nursing, I’ve spent many occasions caring for patients during the Christmas period. While working in nephro-urology in the UK, our team would work hard in the weeks before Christmas to create special plans for patients who were able to travel, to be transported home to spend the holidays with their families.
Many nurses and auxiliary staff would choose to work Christmas day, and we would set up an area in the ward where all the patients who couldn’t travel home could come together to share company, gifts, and raise each other’s spirits. Hats and crackers were given out, and the kitchen would always ‘come to the party’ with amazing and special cakes. The relationships formed between patients during this time would brighten the atmosphere of the ward for weeks afterward.
Our amazing staff in Enliven and Family Works know how important this time of year is for our residents and clients, and they go above and beyond to make Christmas a joyful time for everyone connected to our services.
I know many people in communities across Otago have felt isolated and worried this year. At PSO, our ongoing mission is to help every person feel a strong sense of connection and wellbeing, and I am hopeful that the coming year will be one where we can be together more and more.
Christmas blessings to you all,
CEO Presbyterian Support Otago